[MUD-Dev] [STORY] Story and population size

Andrew Hefford andrew.hefford at coregen.net
Wed Dec 19 00:21:17 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Daniel.Harman at barclayscapital.com
> From: Jeff Cole [mailto:jeff.cole at mindspring.com]
>> From: "Dave Rickey" <daver at mythicentertainment.com>
>>> With a population that varies from 500 to 3000, divided into
>>> three realms, and further divided between 4 trades, that works
>>> out to 8-48 people online at a time you might do business with.
>>> However, the chances of someone wanting to buy something, and
>>> being unable to find *anyone* prepared to sell it to him, is
>>> extremely high, especially off-peak.

>>> Which creates a nasty Catch-22: I have to reduce the barriers
>>> between buyer and seller, up to and including offline trading.
>>> But if I lower them *too* far, the market is too efficient, and
>>> no-one actually makes any money.

>> That you have to manage artificially you economy with barriers
>> between buyers and seller should set off all kinds of warning
>> bells that your economy is fundatmentally unsound.  What you are
>> really saying is that DAoC has such potential for overproduction
>> that you must restrict the ability of players to interact in
>> order to artificially manage supply to keep demand (and prices)
>> inflated.

> I alluded to this in my other economy thread, but I believe that
> the problem most of the games I've played suffer is that there are
> insufficient barriers around the trade skills. There should be
> costs associated with becoming a trader, being a trader and
> stopping trading. Examples of which are buying equipment to pursue
> the skill, joining relevent guilds, buying premises to trade from,
> and liquidating this all when you stop. This prevents the
> non-commited from entering the economy as a producer and means
> that those who trade, and then forsake the skill can't just come
> back and compete with those building themselves up for the first
> time, without significant investment. Otherwise all decisions
> based on trading are trivialised. When you start up a business in
> real life, there is considerable risk of finanical loss which is
> what stops every damned person doing it. The games seem to miss
> this point or oversimplify and load all the costs onto learning
> the skill.

> The other fundamental problem with trade skills is the bottom
> heavy approach of the products, both newbie craftsmen and masters
> can produce the cheap items. As a game progresses the production
> capacity become more and more inverted to the wealth/level of the
> player population. How does one make starting off as a trader
> viable in this situation?

Perhaps by allowing quicker specialization in the making of specific
items for first time players.  They are then able to produce these
cheaper items at the same rate and quality as those with higher
skill points.  They would be limited in what they can chose to
specialize in and how many items that can specialize in.  The player
with higher skill points can widen his areas of knowledge and cope
better with shifts in MOB or Player economies.  The smaller items
would require little in the way of resources.  Allow players to
identify what items to produce while they are offline and the higher
level players will utilize that time on items that have a higher
level of reward in terms of skill points gained and the amount they
can produce in that time. You could get high and low levels to work
together by giving an incentive for the higher level players to pass
the work down to the other players.  The lower level players can use
there offline time to fill these orders.  You could even give the
newbie players a boost, i.e. making item x is new to them so they
put more effort/thought into it and produce a better quality item.
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